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How to Look Fabulous in Photos


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Last Updated on August 28, 2020 by Corinne Schmitt

With so many holiday parties, I have found that every time I turn around someone is snapping a picture of me. Since I got tired of ducking behind furniture or throwing my hand in front of my face, I decided it might be time to figure out how to work with the camera rather than run from it. I did a little digging around to find the best tips from models, celebrities, and photographers. Here’s what they have to say about how to pose for photos:

a black and white framed background with text overlay reading How To Look Fabulous In Photos

Avoid Overhead Lights

If the lighting is located entirely above you, it will create shadows under your eyes and make you look ghostly. Try to position yourself near a lamp or window that will cast light on your face from a lower angle. Even better is to somehow position yourself so that the light is in front of and slightly above you.

Avoid Pictures Taken From Below

I don’t know the science behind this, but pictures taken from below add 20-50 pounds! So, unless you are underweight trying to convince someone you are not, avoid this angle at all costs!

Pull Your Arms Back

Your arms will automatically look larger in photographs because they are in front of you or pressed against your sides making the skin fan out. Hold them back and away from your body to avoid this effect.

Put Your Hands on Your Hips

Doing so will make your waist look more defined and will accomplish the task of pulling your arms back and away from your body.

Cross Your Legs

If you are sitting, crossing your legs and turning your body slightly to one side cuts the width of your body.  When standing, position one leg in front of the other to pivot your hips and thin your silhouette.

Angle Your Body

Turn your body at a slight angle rather than facing the camera head-on. This will make you appear thinner.

Push Your Head Forward

If you can hold your head slightly forward you will minimize or eliminate a double chin and also make the rest of your body look smaller.

Put Your Best Feature Forward

Whatever body part is closest to the camera will appear the biggest. For most of us, this means pulling back our hips, arms, and stomach and pushing forward our head, chest and shoulders.

Angle Your Face Down and Leaned Slightly to the Side

Most people are not symmetrical. If you look closely you will realize one eye is slightly larger, higher, or wider or that your cheekbones aren’t perfectly aligned. Hide these imperfections by leaning your head to one side and angling your head down slightly.

Wear the Right Clothes

Darker clothes are slimming. Horizontal stripes will make you appear wide so avoid them on your waist and hips.

Wear the Right Makeup

Foundation containing SPF reflects light and will make you look pale and shiny. Matte finish is best. Also, cameras tend to wash out your color so go a little bolder with your colors and application.

Avoid Red-Eye

Red-eye occurs when your irises open up wide in reaction to the sudden flash from the camera. To avoid it, stare at a light just before having your photo taken to give your eyes time to adjust to the brightness.

Don’t Stand on the End in Group Photos

The people on the ends look larger because generally, the group tends to bend towards the photographer at the ends and we’ve already discussed how anything that is closer to the camera looks bigger.

a lady showing how to pose for photos

30 thoughts on “How to Look Fabulous in Photos”

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  3. Thank you! Great tips! I always manage to look like an idiot in every picture. Well, not every one of them but most. I’m sure to follow these tips and try to look like a person, and not a halloween monster lol, next time someone takes me a pic πŸ™‚

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  4. I printed out your tips. I think finally I can get a good picture of myself. My husband says I am too harsh on myself when I say that I am fat and ugly.

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  5. These are great tips! Never thought about not standing on the end in group photos. You are so right. Pinning this. And I love Marilyn Monroe–big fan. Visiting from My Favorite Posts Show Off Weekend.

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  6. ohmy gosh.. What a fabulous list! I have never heard of looking at the light to make your pupils small! It totally makes sense though! fabulous!

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  7. Great tips! I especially love the angling face trick — I always get that double chin look when I accidentally squeeze my chin against my neck!!

    Visiting from SITS

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  8. So funny, a friend at work and I discussed each and every one of these tip recently and not because we read them anywhere, but just because we were assessing our worse photos and why.

    The slightly jutted chin, arms back and trying not to stand on the end, we found are the most important dos and don’t when posing. The problem being candid shots- when you don’t have time to think of all the rules, these are the shots that end up on facebook – ugggh!!!

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  9. I needed this I am the worse at taking pictures they never get my good side and the funny thing is when I am not looking at the camera and not trying to pose I look the best. Stopping over from SITS

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  10. such great tips! I especially agree and abide my #1 the overhead lights. They cast horrible shadows. I try to avoid those at all costs. I will def try the other tips.

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  11. These are absolutely fantastic tips for getting portraits taken. As I do a lot of fashion shots, these will really help! Thank you!

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  12. I definitely agree with these list – thanks for sharing! I actually prefer being in the middle than at the end of the photos myself too

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  13. Hi Corinne – These are awesome tips, thanks for sharing! I had no idea about taking pictures from below would add pounds. I did find out the hard way that I have a “good side” and “bad side” in our Christmas card photo… note to self for the next 100 years! Hugs, Hollhy

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  14. I was going to ask how you got that photo of me in the bathing suit, but then that would mean that I’m about 70 years old, so … no. But thank you for the tips since my family is notorious for taking lots of photos.

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  15. Great tips! I tell many of these to my clients, and I’ll be pinning this and bookmarking it for the reminders to myself when I do headshots!

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  16. These are great tips! I love the tip for red eye reduction, and also the one about putting your hands on your hips to make your arms more defined. Will have to try these out!

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  17. These tips are fantastic, especially for this time of the year! I think I will print this and keep it handy for family photos! Perfect post at the perfect time of the year!

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